Motivational Mondays

Start off your week with motivational quotes for athletes. Get focused on the week ahead and put in the work that you know is needed to achieve your goals. Get after it for Motivational Mondays!

“No one can arrive from being talented alone. God gives talent; work transforms talent into genius.” – Anna Pavlova

“My best successes came on the heels of failures.” – Barbara Corcoran

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” – George Washington

“If you don’t bet, you don’t have a chance to win.” – Francis Ford Coppola

“I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.” – Ginni Rometty

“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” – Vince Lombardi

“I don’t go by a rule book, because I lead from the heart, not the head.” – Princess Diana

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” – John Wooden

“If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?” – Joe Namath

“Find the smartest people you can and surround yourself with them.” – Marissa Mayer

I hoped you enjoyed these quotes for motivational Mondays. If you’re looking for more then check these out as well from Every Day Power.

Motivational Quotes – 6th Edition

Quotes by Leaders

“Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.” – Albert Schweitzer

This is a simple quote but a powerful one. You never know who may be watching. All the reason to make sure you’re setting the right example and doing the right things. Lead by example is especially important concept for coaches and specifically coaches of younger athletes.

Coaches set the stage for how athletes should be executing on the game plan. But coaches are also the ones who set the culture for the entire team. Athletes will imitate their coach if they respect what that individual is trying to accomplish. Respect is earned when respect is given. Coaches and athletes should expect to be held accountable as they work toward one common goal.

Lead by example

Lead by Example

“Example, whether it be good or bad, has a powerful influence.” – George Washington

Athletes who “throw a fit” when they have a bad play or get a bad call are setting a bad example for everyone watching. It’s okay to be frustrated, but its never okay to act out. As a father of 3, when my kids throw a fit because I won’t let them have another cookie or stay up past their bed time, I’m reminded of those athletes we see on TV who consistently act out. What are they teaching our children?

What those athletes are showing, is bad behavior is acceptable. Try to be an athlete or a coach, who leads by example. Show whoever may be watching that it matters how you react to a situation. Lead with a positive attitude and you’ll get positive results.

Next time you’re faced with a frustrating play or outcome, think about whose watching. You can always learn from the outcome so it doesn’t happen again, but the message you send matters to the people that may be watching. Lead by example and show what it means to be a GREAT all around athlete.

Additional quotes on leading by example.

Motivational Quotes – 5

Quotes by Leaders – Visualization

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities.  Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem

I think about what separates one athlete from another when I read this quote.  In most cases, many athletes have similar speed, strength, agility or just overall talent level than who they’re competing with.  Yeah sure, the Lebron James, Tom Brady or Serena Williams of the world certainly were blessed with skills that many athletes don’t have.  But for the majority, the one element that makes the biggest difference is how well we’ve prepared mentally for the competition.

You might have all the talent in the world, but if you did a poor job preparing for the game within your own head, the outcome won’t be pretty.  The difference makers often compete thousands of times in their mind before they compete at their sport.  This allows for the individual to see every possible scenario and how they would react to it.  Thus, being prepared for all possible outcomes.

Sports visualization

Visualizing the outcome in your mind, will separate you from the competition.  It should be positive in nature.  If you prepare for the negative, then that’s what you’ll have.  Instead, prepare for a positive outcome and that’s what you’ll have.

Try it before your next competition and I bet you’ll like the results.

Check out, 12 steps to turbo charge turbo-charge your sports visualization and mental toughness page for help.

Motivational Quotes – 4

Quotes by Leaders

People can be really smart or have skills that are directly applicable, but if they don’t really believe in it, then they are not going to really work hard.” – Mark Zuckerberg

This quote isn’t directly about athletes, but it speaks a lot of truth. The athletes with a tremendous amount of talent, but don’t believe it. We all know a friend or family member who seemed to just be blessed with athletic talent. But they lacked confidence to pursue their athletic dream.

It comes down to believing in your own ability and having confidence. It’s pushing past the mental block of “I can’t”. It’s not “I can’t” but instead it’s “how.” How will you accomplish what you’ve set out to do?

I recently listened to a podcast about an individual who was born with a debilitating medical condition, which left him legless and missing one arm. It spoke about how he has overcame the victim mentality and how he’s developed confidence. For him, it’s not the hand he was dealt that matters, it’s how he plays it. His name is Nick Santonastasso and his story is incredibly inspiring.

As athletes, overcoming our own mind can sometimes be more challenging than the physical preparation it takes to become a champion. Train your mind as much, if not more, than your body and the success will find you.

Motivational Quotes – 3

Quotes by Leaders

If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are an excellent leader.” – Dolly Parton

I really like this quote for the coaches out there. If you’re currently a coach or hope to one day be one, this would be a great one to stick on your desk. It shows the influence a coach can have on an athlete. Coaches are there to get the most out of their athletes and to push them beyond what they think is even possible.

I’ve had my fair share of coaches in my athletic career with just about every type. They’ve been excellent communicators, mentors, and leaders. But it’s the actions of one coach in particular that sticks out the most in my head, and unfortunately, in a negative way.

This particular coach was more concerned with himself then he was with developing his athletes into the best versions of themselves. He was my high school football coach and he was exactly what every coach should strive not to be.

A coach should try to understand their athletes. They should help their athletes develop positive habits to achieve their goals. And they should not be the one that stands in the way. Instead, they should help pave the way to the ultimate goal.

If you’re a coach, then ask yourself, “Will this help this individual achieve their goals?” If the answer is no, then consider changing it.

Coaches can be great at developing athletes both on and off the playing field. But it’s also critical to understand that a coach can also do more harm than good.

Be the coach that inspires your athletes to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. That’s true leadership!

Motivational Quotes – 2

Quotes by Leaders

Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.” – Diane Sawyer

It has always come down to whether or not I believe in myself and my abilities to accomplish the goals I’ve set out for myself. Believing in yourself is incredibly powerful and is often the difference maker.

As a collegiate athlete, I accomplished more than most people do. Although I had the talent to be more successful, I simply didn’t believe in myself or believe that I had an equal right at winning at a Division I level.

As a look back at my collegiate track career, I often wonder, “what if”. What if I believed in myself more? What if I stopped worrying about failing and just took a leap of faith?

It’s taking me a long time to realize just how powerful the mental side of life really is. It’s a never ending battle between your physical output and your mental mindset. Once you understand just how powerful it is, well then, you can truly accomplish anything you set your mind to.

If you’re reading this then take the leap of faith, because even if you fail, you’ve won. Failing is learning and learning leads to progress. Progress gets you one step closer to accomplishing your goals.

Motivational Quotes

Quotes by Leaders

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything but I’m still alive and kicking. Today’s post will start a series of quotes by leaders. I’ll give a little commentary about each quote and it what it means to me. I’ll try to then relate it back to how it can impact an athlete.

Let’s get started.

“Natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning, by study.” – Francis Bacon

What I like about this one is the call out on your natural abilities only taking you so far. If you want to be successful long-term then you have to consistently work on it. Many athletes have all kinds of natural abilities but only the most disciplined ones become great. “Pruning” isn’t easy and it’ll take a daily effort at honing your craft.

I think about Michael Jordan who practiced everyday on his craft. It didn’t matter if he was in a scoring slump or simply unstoppable. He was hitting the gym everyday to fine tune his shot and to make himself better.

In many cases, this is why having a reliable coach is critical to an athletes success. When you’re feeling unmotivated (perfectly normal by the way), then they can help get you back on track.

As you reflect on what this quote means to you, try to think about how you can create daily habits to help you progress toward your goal or goals. Progress is more important than perfection. If you’re not taking a step forward (no matter the size) then you’re moving backwards and that’s not a good thing.

Go get to work on “pruning” your natural ability!

Why You Suck At Everything Until You Don’t

We all suck at something until we don’t.  The first time we try something new, we suck at it.  Okay so maybe suck is not the right word.  But should that stop you from continuing to try it?  No, of course not.  The only way you’ll get better, is to continue to try improving how you go about it.  That’s easier said than done of course.  I know for me, one of my biggest fears is failing.  The fear of failure (also called “atychiphobia”) is when we allow that fear to stop us doing the things that can move us forward to achieve our goals.

In some cases, the fear of failure can be so powerful and preventative that we actually end up not moving forward.  Maybe even going backwards.  So how do we conquer the fear of failure?  Well, there are many things out there but here’s what I’ve found to help me:

  • Set Goals – Write your goal down on a piece of paper and place it where you can see it every single day.
    • The more you see it, the more likely you’ll believe it.  If you believe it then you can and will achieve it.
  • Focus on what I’ll learn from it – The chances are the first time you attempt to go after your goal, that you’ll fail at it.  But that’s okay, as long as you learn something from it.
    • Throughout history, the greatest achievements came from failing.  Thomas Edison failed over a 1000 times at creating the light bulb.  But all it took was getting it right, ONE TIME, then history was made.
    • “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett
  • Find 3 positives from the situation – It’s human nature to find the negative in the situation.  That’s why many of us stop pursuing our goals.  By finding at least 3 positives, you can grow and truly learn from it.  Thomas Edison was asked what it felt like to fail a 1000 times.  His response was simply, “I didn’t fail a 1000 times.  The light bulb was an invention with a 1000 steps.”
    • That statement speaks volumes to how Edison’s mind worked.  He found the positives that helped him to keep moving forward.
    • If we remove the negatives then we can and will find a way to achieve our goals.

None of this means anything if you’re not taking action toward what you want to accomplish.  I’ve said a lot of things so far in my life but until I started taking action they were just words.  And quite frankly, most of it is just words and dreams.  The things I have accomplished i.e. running track at a Division I program and completing a Half Iron-man just to name a couple, were because I sat down with a goal and focused on what I wanted to accomplish.

In the beginning of both of those goals, I kept getting hurt, partly because I was approaching training in the wrong way.  But I learned from each set back to then come back stronger and stronger where eventually both goals were met.

Make a commitment today to take action.  And be prepared to suck at it, at first, then as you learn and keep moving forward, you can have success after success.  Believe it and you can achieve it!

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius

Written by: Tim Kane

Timothy J Kane, EzineArticles Basic Author

Motivational Techniques – The Power of Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is the key to your entire lifestyle.  If you want to achieve a goal you must think and be positive.  If you are negative about achieving a goal you will procrastinate and not want to work toward it.  So here a some tips to thinking positive.

Focus on the important things:

It is very common for people to focus their energy on things that are not important.  When your emotional energy is spent on things that are not important it can be very draining.  The first thing you need to do is to be very clear about what goal you’re trying to achieve and why it’s important to you.  Create a  mission and a vision for your goal.  This will help you take a step back when things get tough and help you decide if it is really worth the energy.  My guess is that if it’s about your goal than it is.  When you are clear about the important goals then you will maintain a positive attitude and negative thoughts won’t take you away from the goal you’re trying to achieve.  Check out our section on goal setting for help creating the plan.

Maintain good health:

Staying motivated and positive also means you must be a healthy person.  It’s hard to have a positive attitude when you don’t take care of your body.  There are three primary things you need to do in order to create a healthy body.  These things include eating right, getting enough sleep each night and of course exercise/training.

Your diet can have a lot to do with the way you feel on a daily basis.  A balanced diet can help you feel good everyday which in turn helps you stay positive.  For example, if you drink too much soda you might create a caffeine addiction which causes headaches.  Headaches can not only cause a negative attitude but you won’t be very motivated to do anything with it.

Eating a balanced and healthy diet means cutting out the fatty foods, the sugars, alcohol (if you’re of age) and other things that get you down.  You should be eating fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken and lots of water.

It’s best to try and get a full 8 hours of sleep each night.  When you’re tired, negative thoughts begin to rush into your brain causing your attitude to shift in the wrong direction.  If you’re well rested, you’re more likely going to take a step toward your goal.


Another thing you can do to create a positive attitude is to give.  Giving means not only gifts but your time, attention and energy.  Schedule time to give back and your attitude will stay positive and ultimately help you achieve your goals.

Focus on your strengths:

Everyone has strengths and they are good at something.  If you focus on your strengths then you can enjoy the things that you’re good at and this will help you keep a positive attitude.  When you think of a weakness, you think of a negative which will only cause problems at accomplishing your goal or goals.  Take your strength and run with it.

Never let anyone stand in the way of your goal or goals.  They mean something to you and that’s all that matters.  When you get in the morning take one small step by making your bed.  It sounds simple but it sets the tone for the rest of the day by accomplishing the first task of the day.  Once you’ve accomplished the first task then you can accomplish another then another the rest of the day.  And if the day doesn’t go as planned at least when you head home from a rough day you’ll have a bed that is made.


Motivational Techniques – Continuous Learning

Learning promotes growth.  If you’re not learning then you’re not growing.  It’s healthy for the brain and you’re never too old to learn something new.  Try and learn something new every day through reading, listening or doing.  Continuously learning new things will help you become open to take on things you didn’t think you could do before.

Learning is important to motivation.  Try and get into a routine of learning something new each day.  This will help stimulate your brain cells and increase your overall motivation.  If you’re a baseball player then try and watch a professional swing a bat and then try it out for yourself.  Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t but at least you know something new about how to swing a bat.

Your mind and body have to be challenged.  Otherwise, you run the risk of maintaining status quo and possibly getting stuck.  The definition of insanity is to do something the same way over and over again and expect a different result.  It doesn’t matter what age you are because we are all guilty of getting stuck in the same old way of doing things.

If you challenge yourself on a daily basis then you’re more likely to advance and complete the goals you’ve set out for yourself.  So get out there and learn something new!